Monday, September 12, 2016

Daily Corrections Clips


Walked away from community re-entry program

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is looking for a man who walked away from a Bakersfield re-entry facility Sunday.

Stephen Beavers, 30, was transferred from Wasco State Prison to the Male Community Re-entry Program (MCRP) in Kern County back on August 19th.

The MCRP allows eligable inmates to end their state prison sentences in a re-entry center, and provides them with programs and tools to make the transition back into the community easier.

Tommy Wright, Monterey Herald

Salinas >> The California Supreme Court overturned the death sentence of Daniel Sanchez Covarrubias in an automatic appeal filed Thursday, nearly 18 years after he was convicted in the triple homicide of a Salinas family.

In 1998, a jury sentenced Covarrubias, a Mexican national, for the 1994 slaying of Martha Morales, who was holding her 11-month-old daughter when she was gunned down along with her husband, Ramon Morales, and her brother, Fernando Martinez. The case will return to Monterey County Superior Court for a new penalty determination.


LA Progressive

Anthony Kline, a California appeals court judge, came to the San Quentin News office to talk  about incarceration, rehabilitation and reentry with about a dozen incarcerated men whose  personal histories included gang-banging, drug dealing and even murder.

The incarcerated men were lead facilitators for several self-help programs that enable  participants to deal constructively with anger, criminal thinking, victim awareness, early  childhood trauma, and lack of education.

Two prisoners recently transferred out of Pelican Bay after spending a combined 36 years in its  Security Housing Unit (SHU) were in the audience. Each said they were impressed and looking  forward to this opportunity for rehabilitation for the first time in their incarceration experiences.

Higher education behind the bars of San Quentin

California's San Quentin State Prison north of San Francisco is one of few prisons in the nation to offer a college education to inmates. Here's a look at the Prison University Project behind the prison walls.

The Prison University Project offers higher education classes to about 350 students at San Quentin State Prison outside of San Francisco. Although college classes once were fairly common in the nation's prisons, cutbacks in federal financial support have eliminated many programs. In California, many inmates transfer to San Quentin specifically to enroll in the project, whose waitlist is almost six months long.


Marisa Lagos, KQED

Forty years ago, when Jerry Brown was first governor, he signed a law that dramatically changed the way California sentenced criminal offenders. Previously, under the indeterminate sentencing law, many inmates received inconclusive sentences instead of a fixed term. It was up to a parole board to decide when an inmate was ready to re-enter society.

Under the law signed by Brown in 1976, the state shifted to a determinate sentencing structure — and in the years following, lawmakers and voters piled on dozens more laws that added years to prisoners’ terms.

Four decades later, California is under a court order to reduce its prison population because of severe overcrowding that led to inhumane conditions. Since returning to the governor’s office five years ago, Brown has made reducing that population one of his main priorities and has instated a number of major criminal justice policy shifts.

As one state wrestles with the effects of trying juvenile defendants in adult courts, others reconsider the practice.
Juleyka Lantigua-Williams, The Atlantic

Part of the philosophy for creating a separate juvenile-justice system in the United States is the idea that the state can act as a parent, or parens patriae—protector, caretaker, disciplinarian—when a young person fails to respect the rights of others, commits petty or serious crimes, or shirks age-based societal norms by committing so-called status offenses.

But parenting is hard. Even for the state.

Sometimes the lessons learned with one generation benefit the next. Sometimes cultural attitudes change—making kids’ behavior more acceptable (smoking marijuana) or less acceptable (campus assault) as time passes. And sometimes parenting styles collide, leading to an impasse in which the children’s wellbeing and fate hang in the balance.

Pablo Lopez, The Fresno Bee

A former Fresno State walk-on football player who made a threat on social media about doing a campus shooting “to release my frustration” was handcuffed in court Friday and sent to prison for an evaluation.

Overcome by nerves, Christian Malik Pryor, 19, became physically ill when Judge Dennis Peterson ordered a bailiff to handcuff him. His attorney, Sharon Applebaum, protested, saying that sending Pryor to prison was not part of a plea agreement that he had signed in July when he pleaded no contest to a felony charge of making a criminal threat.

Under the agreement, Pryor would not be sentenced to prison but could get up to 16 months in jail or probation.

Malaika Fraley, East Bay Times

CASTRO VALLEY — A 51-year-old Castro Valley woman recently took a plea deal for throwing hot coffee on a Muslim man during a confrontation over his religion at a Castro Valley park last year, an incident that was caught on video and went viral on the internet.

Denise Slader, also known as Denise Sanchez, was sentenced in August to three years court probation, and 20 days in jail that can be served via the Alameda County Sheriff’s alternative work program, according to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. The sentence included orders to complete 26 anger management classes and 60 hours of volunteer work, and to stay away from the victim, San Francisco resident Rasheed Albeshari, and Chabot Regional Park.


Sacramento >> A Chico man was sentenced Friday to 25 years in prison for producing and receiving child pornography, acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

Joshua Landon Klipp, 34, had pleaded guilty on March 11 to one count of production of child pornography and one count of receipt of child pornography, according to a press release.


Proposition 57, the latest controversial ballot measure aimed at solving California’s incarceration crises, is either a fresh attempt at fixing “fundamental flaws” in the state’s criminal justice system or another misguided, misleading voter initiative likely to leave more criminals out on the street sooner — depending on whom you ask.

Prop 57 advocates argue that while Prop 47 —  a 2014 voter initiative that reduced many drug and theft felony charges to misdemeanors — created a funding stream in county and state correctional systems by allowing for many more early releases and sentence reductions, there is still little incentive for an inmate to rehabilitate.

Scott Budnick, the producer of The Hangover, has brought his talents to the legal-policy arena and earned kudos along the way.
Juleyka Lantigua-Williams, The Atlantic

Scott Budnick, a Hollywood executive producer best known for The Hangover movies, has spent the last 12 years helping hundreds of young people star in sequels of their own: life after prison. He was moved to this type of advocacy after visiting a juvenile facility with a friend. Soon after, he volunteered to teach writing classes at the facility, becoming a mentor to many of his students and maintaining those relationships once they were released. Then in 2013, after nearly a decade of working with young offenders, Budnick founded the Anti Recidivism Coalition, a support and advocacy network of volunteer mentors and allies. ARC has made Budnick famous outside of Hollywood; he’s a star in the world of justice-reform advocacy.


East Bay Times

California’s Proposition 62 is a decree of death, anguish and inhumanity. No
form of execution is acceptable, not even in a presumed attempt to choose the lesser
of two evils.

California voters need to know that lethal injection is arguably a more
humane method of execution than the alternative method Prop. 62 proposes: Life
without the possibility of parole (LWOP) — the slow death penalty, life without hope.